Rules to help keep a man happy

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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The calendar on my desk denotes that the third Sunday in June is later this week. That means Father’s Day, a tradition which formally began in the United States in 1910….although it’s been celebrated in other countries for much longer, to include Saint Joseph’s Day, celebrated on March 19 since the Middle Ages.

For those of the fairer sex who have yet to purchase a gift for your dad or husband, please consider the following rules:

Rule #1: When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. My brother, Tommy (T-Bone) Bryant, has about 15 drills and I’ve never heard him complain about getting another one. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you choose not to go with a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey, Tommy, can I borrow your ratchet? By-the-way, are you finished using my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you opt to steer clear of purchasing tools, buy him anything for his vehicle. A gallon of windshield washer fluid, a bottle of car wash liquid, a tire brush, or even something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their vehicles. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks. Do not buy men ties. And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner showing what’s on other channels. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips between channels.

Rule #6: Buy your man a label maker; they’re almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere: Socks, Shorts, Cups, Saucers, Door, Lock, Sink. You get the idea.

Rule #7: Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #8: Good places to shop for men include your local Ace Hardware store or Eddie Harrells Auto & Sports. Home Depot, Lowes, John Deere outlets and auto parts stores are other options. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is or how you wrap it. “Must be something I need. Isn’t this a starter for a ’68 Chevy Impala? Wow! Thanks.”

Rule #9: Men enjoy danger. That’s why we never cook indoors – rather, we love to use an outdoor grill. Get him a monster grill, complete with two side burners and a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the propane line leaks. Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?

Rule #10: Tickets to a football game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

Rule #11: It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a step ladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #12: Rope. Men love rope. It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope.

There you have it, ladies….12 simple rules to keep your man happy, at least for a day!!

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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